Travel

I’ve probably travelled to Singapore about 20 times in the past 3 years. I visit frequently to work with clients of Xpat Media. A couple of weeks ago I visited to speak at ITB Asia with several bloggers from the Professional Travel Bloggers Association.

As I was zipping around town to meetings I realized how well I’ve gotten to know the city and wanted to pass along a few of the things that have helped me make the most of my time there.

Get The 100GB Sim Card

This probably won’t last forever, but for as long as it’s around it’s great. At the airport you can pick up an S$50 ($37 USD) M1 SIM Card. It normally gives you 5GB of data for 7 days, which is lots, but right now you get a bonus 100GB, so you never have to worry about struggling to connect to overloaded conference wifi or a slow hotel network. With that much data you can stream HD Netflix every night in your room.

Use The Right Transport For The Right Travel

I use five methods of transportation in Singapore. Taxi, Uber, Mass Rail Transit (MRT), and walking. Each are great for some situations, but terrible for others. Here’s the deal.

To And From The Airport: Taxis and Ubers will be fastest most of the time, but the MRT is very fast and convenient. I usually take the MRT into town out of habit. If you’re in a rush to get to the airport, a taxi or Uber will almost always be fastest. However, if you’re traveling during evening rush hour you’ll want to take the MRT or budget extra time for your drive.

Taxis And Ubers: I almost always prefer using Uber instead of taxis for one simple reason: I don’t have to tell the driver where to go. In a strange city it’s always a chore to explain where you need to go, especially if there’s a language barrier. In Singapore I default to Uber...most of the time.

Downtown Singapore is a maze of one way streets. On my last trip I tried several times to order an Uber only to watch it painfully try to wind its way through a circle of one-way streets during busy middle-of-the-day traffic to find me. It’s not worth it. If you’re in the city center you’re better off walking or asking somebody where to find the nearest taxi stand (there are many).

Walking: Central Singapore is really small. You can walk to a lot of places in 20 minutes. Before you jump into a cab or an Uber, it’s worth asking yourself if you can just walk it. This is especially recommended if your route will take you along river, which has a beautiful, wide, pathway lined with bars and restaurants.

Use The Best Meeting Room In The Marina Bay Sands

Every time I visit Singapore for a conference it’s in the Marina Bay Sands, which is great. The MBS has the nicest conference area I’ve ever been in. What I love most, though, is the cafe where I hide out to work and have meetings: the Sweet Spot Cafe on the second floor.

This place is great. It’s just far enough from the conference center that it doesn’t get too crowded, but it’s close enough that anyone can find it and get there in 10 minutes. It has good coffee, sandwiches, and regular tables as well as sofas and coffee tables. There are power outlets along one wall and a business center next door.

I usually spend more time there than in the conference hall.

To find it, take the escalators from the conference area up to the main floor. Then walk into the mall. On your immediate left you’ll see a very tall escalator. Take it to the top and walk straight ahead. You’ll walk right into it.

Check Out Singapore’s Air BnB For Business Travelers

MetroResidences is a Singapore-based Air BnB-style service for business travelers to find serviced apartments. I stayed with them on my last trip and it was just what I needed. The room had a great view and kitchen where I could make coffee while working. The building had a nice gym and a pool. But most importantly it was right downtown within walking distance of most of my meetings and right across the street from Telok Ayer food market, which has a crazy selection of good cheap restaurants to grab a quick bite on my way to or from the apartment.

Don’t Stress Too Much About Your Flight Home

I would never advise anybody that they shouldn’t show up two hours early for an international flight.

But, Changi Airport in Singapore is a lot more forgiving than most. Like most things in Singapore, the airport is crazy efficient. Customs is usually fast and unlike most airports in the world — which funnel passengers for all flights through long security lines in one screening area — Changi performs security checks at your gate. So, getting to your gate in time for your flight is much faster than at most airports.

Bacall Associates - Vietnam Airlines Recognised as Leading Global

posted on 03 Aug 2016 06:34 by chrisroberts2016 in Travel

Prized certification marks key developmental milestone for flag carrier after transformative year

 

12 July 2016 – National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines www.vietnamairlines.com has been certified as a 4-Star Airline by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax ranking it alongside some of the world’s most reputable airlines, including British Airways, Emirates and Lufthansa. Vietnam Airlines new President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Duong Tri Thanh, accepted the official certification during the World Airline Awards event at Farnborough International Airshow 2016.

Awarded after comprehensive Skytrax evaluation across all customer-facing product and service factors both onboard flights and at airports served by Vietnam Airlines, the prestigious 4-Star Airline certification is recognition for the significant recent improvements that Vietnam Airlines has made to the quality of its product and service standards, as part of its strategic plan to establish itself as the leading carrier for the region.

 

Last year Vietnam Airlines underwent a dramatic transformation, launching its new corporate identity and beginning a major fleet-wide upgrade to replace its entire fleet of wide body aircraft – significantly enhancing its product offering. 2015 saw Vietnam Airlines become the first airline to operate the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner nonstop between Southeast Asia and Europe, and the first Asian airline to operate both Boeing and Airbus’ modern next-generation aircraft at the same time. A total of 19 Boeing 787s and 14 Airbus A350-900 XWBs will be delivered to Vietnam Airlines by early 2019.

 

At the same time, Vietnam Airlines implemented a programmed to upgrade service levels to international 4-Star Airline standards – spearheaded by Vietnam Airlines’ new President and CEO Mr. Thanh in his previous role as Executive Vice President. Commenting on the news, Mr. Thanh said “I am honored to accept this highly prestigious accolade on behalf of Vietnam Airlines. This fantastic achievement is testament to the hard work of all of Vietnam Airlines’ dedicated employees, and an important indicator of the excellent progress we are making towards our goal of becoming one of the best-regarded airlines in Asia-Pacific.”

 

Mr. Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax said “This 4-Star Airline rating is an excellent achievement for Vietnam Airlines and the result of their hard work across a range of product and service areas. Introducing two brand new aircraft types into the fleet in such a short space of time is a difficult task, but the reward for Vietnam Airlines is a fabulous new product in their core long haul market. We acknowledge the considerable change and improvement they have achieved, with a new service concept rolled out in Business Class and an overhaul of cabin staff training procedures – all of which will further strengthen Vietnam Airlines position as a major Asian airline.”

 

Vietnam Airlines offers the UK’s only nonstop flights to Vietnam, operating daily services from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Flights are carefully scheduled to offer convenient overnight journeys in both directions, and excellent onward connections via its comprehensive network of over 40 destinations in Asia, including 16 within Vietnam 5 in Indochina and the rest in other countries.

 

Return fares from Heathrow to Ho Chi Minh City currently start from £396 per person, inclusive of taxes. For further information and reservations visit www.vietnamairlines.com or speak to a travel agent.

Bacall Associates Travel - Your typical London Adventure Guide

posted on 27 Jun 2016 13:31 by chrisroberts2016 in Travel

I had seen what most of you hadn’t. Be it the towering heights of Ben’s, the Collection of masterpieces, or the Great museum that held centuries worth of history… That is because I went to London.

 

I had a lot of help with little time. So I was referred by a friend who previously travelled to London to Bacall and Associates.

 

From the tower of London (which is a full structure) to the Somerset House, my adventures included a lot of strolling. Feeling like I walked through history itself, their Museums offers artifacts and countless treasures of the past.

 

Structures that became the Icon of London itself such as the Eye that gives you a view from the skies whereas people are small and the dazzling city seemingly so too. Another is the Big Ben, a clock tower that dates as far as the 1850’s which still stands today, so no need to bring a watch. The Big Ben took 34 years to build.

 

Another is the tourist spot of the Buckingham Palace, where 11:30 (or earlier to get a good spot as people tend to crowd), disciplined and trained, the changing of guards occur that served as the modern knights of London.

 

Westminster Abbey. Modernly known as Collegiate Church of St Peter, it is a historical place that held not only royal weddings in the past, but also burials of the kings almost a millennium ago.

 

The Victoria and Albert Museum. A destination that held artifacts from 5,000 years ago spanning from artworks, costumes, jewelry, ironwork, and photos.

 

Lastly, the St Paul’s Cathedral the largest and most famous among London’s many churches and one of the most beautiful in the world. The Architectural design that made it proved to be genius and made of hard work, though the Cathedral has a history of a fire that occurred back in the 1666 it was rebuilt.